Interns Can’t Sue for Sexual Harassment on the Job | NJ Sexual Harassment

By Thomas McKinney

A federal court in New York ruled last week that an intern at a TV broadcasting company could not sue for workplace sexual harassment under New York state and city laws because she was not paid and therefore not an employee. See Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television. The intern alleged that the broadcaster’s Washington, DC bureau chief hugged her, tried to kiss her and “squeezed her buttocks with his left hand.” District Judge Kevin Castel ruled that the intern can’t assert a sexual harassment claim because, as an unpaid intern, she didn’t have the status of an employee. In his opinion, he wrote, “It is uncontested that Wang received no remuneration for her services….New York City’s Human Rights Law’s protection of employees does not extend to unpaid interns.”

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About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.